(4) Yet Khayyam's fondness for metaphor--compounded by Romanticism's heavy metaphorical investments, which the Spasmodist craze of the 1850s had lately inflated to the bursting point--obliged FitzGerald despite his proclaimed hostility to metaphor to use the trope prominently.
Likewise, as visual figures the "Bowl" and the "Noose" both sweep horizontally around a focal point; but the circle they present to the mind is anything but hermeneutic, since the metaphors don't add up, or really have anything in common but (the spasmodist's constant friend) the element of surprise.
as a spasmodist
epic, the poem is chock full of the "very grand
Spasmodist poetics wrote very large certain Romantic tenets that persist among us, involving the centrality of the self, the sanctity of the moment of heightened perception, and the totality of the truth to which creative poets enjoy privileged if fitful access.
The allegorical-mythic mode of narration that Home adopted in 1843 seems to have struck his 1850s spasmodist successors as a puny alternative to Bailey's with-it spirit of dramatic bigness, which in preference to his they followed.
This baneful formlessness, in Gosse's view, affected Tennyson and both Brownings, who, "surviving the wreck of the Spasmodists
, were still more bent on vigour than grace," and who subsequently "began to adopt blank verse as their favourite instrument" (p.
(31) 'Poetry--The Spasmodists
', North British Review, 28 (1858), 231-51 (p.
Her account is important because Byron was identified by contemporaries, along with Shelley and Keats, as one of the key forerunners of Spasmodic poetry: Massey, in his review of the 1850s Spasmodists, remarked that Byron was known for astonishing and impressing his readers by the effect of "spasmodic affection" (p.
(3) Gerald Massey, "Poetry--The Spasmodists," North British Review 28 (1858): 237.
If, as Richard Cronin suggests, the poems of Smith and other Spasmodists
"attempt to force themselves on the public attention most obviously by challenging conventional orthodoxies; ethical, religious, sexual and political," Smith certainly succeeded with "The Lady and the Page." (21)
No acknowledged "major" poet of Victorian Britain came from working- or lower-middle-class origins, (62) and none of the "spasmodists
" is likely to gain more than token entry into any twenty-first-century anthologies.
(3) Coventry Patmore, "Poetry--The Spasmodists
," North British Review 28 (1858): 126.